Title

Who Tweets About Politics?: Political Participation of Twitter Users During the 2011Gubernatorial Elections

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2013

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

Twitter has been lauded for its potential political value by academics, journalists, and politicians; yet, we know little about the citizenry's use of Twitter to engage in politics. Under the backdrop of the 2011 gubernatorial elections, we observed Twitter users' direct engagement in the electoral process by collecting usernames and tweets of anyone who mentioned a candidate. After the elections were called, we employed an original survey via Twitter of these political tweeters to answer the question, who tweets about politics? Unsurprisingly, the results of our logit analysis demonstrate that strong partisans and those exhibiting high levels of traditional political participation activity tweet about politics most often which supports those who argue that we can expect to find the same political activists online as offline. However, we also find evidence that racial minorities and secularists are engaged in the electoral conversation on Twitter suggesting that some marginalized groups may have found a political outlet.

Publication Title

SOCIAL SCIENCE COMPUTER REVIEW

Volume

31

Issue

5

First Page

625

Last Page

643

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